Millions paid in Turnpike OT last year

Millions of dollars in overtime paid out by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority last year is not sitting well with residents and lawmakers already dealing with a broken economy. According to records, $11

News 12 Staff

Mar 17, 2009, 12:28 AM

Updated 5,600 days ago

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Millions of dollars in overtime paid out by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority last year is not sitting well with residents and lawmakers already dealing with a broken economy.
According to records, $11 million was shelled out last year in overtime pay to toll collectors on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway. At least one Parkway toll supervisor added more than $30,000 to his yearly salary of $84,000 through extra hours. Another toll collector made just under $104,000 last year after adding more than $40,000 in overtime.
Gov. Corzine asked New Jersey residents to sacrifice last week in his budget address, and the overtime revelations come at a time when residents are feeling the sting of giving up tax rebates and paying higher taxes. State Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-12th District) says the authority is not handling pay correctly.
"Look ? [at the] end of the day, $11 million of overtime is a lot of overtime," says Beck. "It's wasteful, and it's the wrong way to manage that operation."
Turnpike officials argue that their overtime record is actually very good and that it represents the cost of running a business. They also argue that the authority has cut back from $18 million five years ago. The authority defends some of the particularly high overtime payouts, saying those workers are not villains, but rather employees who are willing to step up when needed.
"Overtime is just a factor in running a roadway," says the Turnpike Authority's Joe Orlando. "It's going to happen."


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